Is Gousto value for money?

We compare the recipe box favourite to groceries from the supermarket

A box of all the ingredients, complete with an easy to follow recipe, delivered to your doorstep. Sounds ideal, but how much extra does a recipe box delivery subscription cost compared to buying the groceries at the supermarket?

How does Gousto work?

Gousto is a subscription recipe box company. Unlike their counterparts, Green Chef and Hello Fresh, Gousto actually cater for single people and families, with subscriptions for one person to five people.

When you sign up you pay a set cost for a subscription for one to three healthy meals a week for one to five people. The subscription can be paused at any time. You can also order one off boxes without a subscription.

Once you’re in, select the recipes you like – you can filter the recipes to make it easier with categories such as ‘quick & easy’ or ‘healthy choices’.

Select a delivery date and the recipe box containing the ingredients, pre-portioned and packaged bar a few cupboard staples, is delivered to your door. 

How much does Gousto cost?

The following table shows the cost per portion and is correct as of July 2024.

Recipes per weekNumber of people

The cheapest option is the 5 recipes a week for four people which works out at £3.31 per person per meal. The most expensive is the two recipes a week for one person which works out at £12.74 per meal – that’s nearly four times as much as the cheapest combination.

So yes, you can order for one person, but at that cost, it’s really not worth it. You’d be better off ordering more and cooking in bulk then freezing some meals. 

And beware that many of the recipes have extra costs and it is quite easy to miss this due to its size at the bottom of a recipe. The additional charge varies from 40p extra per serving to £2.50 extra. That could take the most expensive combination up to £15.24 per serving (when selecting two meals a week for one person), which is what you’d expect to pay at a restaurant!

Gousto discount

Now to make the cost more appealing, Gousto does offer a lot of discounts when you sign up to their subscription service. One of the best is the refer a friend discount (you have to have a friend that uses Gousto for this one), which gives you 65% off your first order and the friend who referred you gets £20 credit in their account.

Even better, if you use a cashback site like Quidco or TopCashback you can also get cashback on top of offers. The offers change but you can sometimes get the first box for free, if not for very little. You can find the latest offers in our food deals page.

Gousto vs the supermarket

To assess whether or not the Gousto subscription boxes offer good value, I compared the ingredients to those from Tesco.

The table below shows two very different prices per portion from Gousto (excluding any upgrades) compared to the ingredient costs from Tesco. Since you would have to buy all the ingredients, the full price of a product is used even if you only need a little of it, for example, you would need to buy the whole jar or oregano. 

Gousto cost per portion (5 meals for 4 people)Tesco cost per portion (4 people)Gousto cost per portion (2 meals for 2 people)Tesco cost per portion (2 people)
Chicken goujons and cheesy beans£3.31£3.61 (-30p difference)£8.12£5.94 (£2.18 difference)

When it comes to the cheapest option from Gousto, there is little difference between the price per portion from Tesco. But that said, there are a number of ingredients in this recipe where very little of the ingredient is used, including a jar or oregano, a jar of paprika and a bottle of Worcestershire sauce.

If you actually worked out the value of the ingredients from Tesco based on the amount used, this would actually bring the cost down considerably, in fact to a much smaller £2.62 per portion for four and £3.98 for two.

Gousto cost per portion (5 meals for 4 people)Tesco cost per portion using proportionate cost of ingredient (4 people)Gousto cost per portion (2 meals for 2 people)Tesco cost per portion using proportionate cost of ingredient (2 people)
Chicken goujons and cheesy beans£3.31£2.62 (69p difference)£8.12£3.98 (£4.14 difference)

Does Gousto deliver when it comes to cost?

Gousto isn’t cheap but you are paying for convenience. When it comes to ordering for more people, the value is considerably better than when ordering for one or two people. In fact, if you are ordering for one, the price per portion at Gousto is extortionate, at over £10 per portion with the cheapest subscription option.

So it’s not a cheap option for couples and singles but it does fare better for families, and this is reflected with many of the recipes being family friendly.

There are, however, a number of ways to boost the value from each box you order.

Tips to get the best value out of your Gousto box

Pick more meat and fish dishes but avoid those with extra charges

Meat and fish are expensive components of a meal so it makes sense to pick a recipe with these if you are wanting to get greater value from your recipe box. But make sure you’re careful not to select recipes with extra charges since this can add up to £2.50 per portion to the cost.

Order more recipes for more people

As the plans usually work out cheaper  the more meals you order (not the case with ordering for five), then ordering for one or two people should be avoided. Instead, consider cooking up more portions and freezing them.

Don’t forget to use discounts and referral codes

The welcome discounts are good at bringing the cost down but keep an eye out too for bounce back discounts and share your referral code with friends to get £20 credit in your Gousto account.

My experience of using Gousto for a family of five

I ordered three meals for five using a referral code from my Be Clever With Your Cash colleague Zoe. After all the discounts, I paid just under £30.

Now the recipes I selected were all chosen with my kids’ tastes in mind, chicken goujons with cheesy beans, one-pot beef in black bean and finally creamy sun-dried tomato salmon with broccoli tots. And unfortunately, none of them were a hit. They all took way longer than the recipe time stated. This may be due to the recipe not being specific for five people, so you’re actually doing more than it states or that they’re just optimistic when it comes to time!

The fact that none of the recipes tasted that good is more worrying. There were elements of each recipe that were nice but overall, they were not liked by the kids or adults. And if I’m ordering a recipe from Gousto or any recipe box provider, it really should taste as good as it sounds.

So I wouldn’t use Gousto again. One because of the cost and two, because of the taste. Many of the recipes on offer are a little too simplistic, for example spaghetti bolognese or chilli – things that I can rustle up at the drop of a hat and cheaply too, and therefore the inspiration isn’t quite there. I’m sure there are plenty of tasty recipes available at Gousto, but even the photos of some are less than inspiring. 

But maybe the appeal is for cooks with less experience as a way to teach the basics and for that I’d say Gousto is an option. But the better value only comes from ordering multiple recipes for four, otherwise, the prices are just too high.

They’re not the most balanced nutritionally either, and could do with more vegetables, so there’s an additional cost of a side salad or side of vegetables to factor in too. So with the recipes not quite performing and the time it actually took me to cook them, I think I’ll just stick to the supermarket.

3 thoughts on “Is Gousto value for money?

  1. We’ve tried both Hello Fresh and Gousto and we prefer the latter, as there is more recipe variety and more recyclable packaging. Agree that they’re not cheap but they’re convenient. Both are a great way to save on food waste and kitchen cupboard space with each ingredient portion exactly as required.

  2. The first table does not show cost per portion as the text says.

  3. I never tried Gousto, but I tried Hello Fresh. It isn’t cheap if you don’t have any discounts but I got some really tasty recipes that I now do with supermarket ingredients and improvise the spices and herbs. The only thing I do find annoying is that the time to do the recipe is always more than intended. I think these boxes are quite helpful for people that get overwhelmed with shopping or aren’t very sure about portions and how to prepare food.


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